My eyes are the same as they always have been.

My eyes have been the same since the day I was born. They haven’t changed. Although my body has in many ways, but whose hasn’t? Most people grow into their bodies and even though they can pick out flaws, they can still be happy. Their eyes see them how they want to be; who they are, the flaws are minor.

My eyes, for as far back as I can remember, look into the mirror and see a complete stranger looking back at me. It wasn’t so bad when I was young and pre-pubescent; my body hadn’t yet developed into the trap that it was and still is. But I can tell you that I’ve always known something wasn’t right. My eyes confirmed it every time I stripped away my disguise. Something was missing from my body. At some point, something went terribly wrong during my time in the womb.

Going back to when I was 4 maybe 5, I remember sitting on the couch next to my mom and asking her why she couldn’t just push me back in so I could come out right, come out a boy. She gave me a weird look, stood up and just walked away. I felt lost, hopeless, like a puppy with no home. Then I started school.

Still my eyes haven’t changed.

I’ve been picked on, I’ve been bullied, I was constantly picked last for most activities. I was different from everyone else and I knew it, so did they. I did my best to fit in as one of the guys but I was constantly reminded that I didn’t belong. I played football for years and was told by coaches and teammates that girls shouldn’t play football. But I wasn’t a girl. I was a young boy trying to do what boys do.

The years went on; my eyes never changing.

I started puberty and my body started changing like everyone else’s. But mine wasn’t right. These lumps started growing on my chest, then there was that god-awful day that bitch they call a period started. I remember wanting to die. Dying seemed less scary as the months and years went on.

I’ve looked it in the face on a few different occasions. But my eyes remain the same.

Years have passed now and I have found myself growing more in tune with the man that I was supposed to be from the beginning. I came out to my family, I told them how I felt. They all said they knew and were just waiting for me to realize it. I am a male, I always have been. I was never your baby girl or the baby sister. In fact, I was fairly angry growing up. You were constantly correcting people. I thought I was succeeding. It gave me such a boost to hear people say, “oh, your son is so sweet” or “look how cute your son is.” Then you would get a distraught look on your face and say, “this is my daughter.” You stomped me into the ground time and time again without knowing it.

But now you know and yet my eyes remain the same.

My eyes are the same ones you looked deep into the day I was born. They are the same eyes that you have wiped tears from throughout the years. I am the same person you have raised all these years. I haven’t changed other than I am transitioning from the young buck I was into the man I’ve always known I would be. If you say that you have always had a feeling that this is who I am, then why are you mourning or grieving or fighting with yourself to call me who I am? I am the same person I always have been.

You look at me every day, you see the same eyes you have been looking at for the past 24 almost 25 years. It’s not the easiest thing to adjust to; trust me, I know better than anyone. But you have to realize that who you see is the same person you have been looking at all these years. The same person you have raised all these years. You have made me the man I am. You have taught me to take care of myself, to respect the people around me, to help when I can and try my damndest when I can’t. You have taught me to stand tall through any storm. To be proud of who I am even in the darkest time. Life has been a pretty dark time for me. But I walk tall and I am proud of who I am and who I am growing to become.

And My eyes remain the same through it all!

(Originally written in 2015)